Introduction/Background The COVID-19 pandemic has had an immense impact on health care systems und social life. Currently, there are still limited data on patient perception concerning changes in cancer treatment. We initiated a multicentre prospective anonymous survey among gynecological cancer patients to assess the changes in their therapy situation during the second wave of the pandemic and the impact of their social life.
Methodology We performed a survey among gynecological cancer patients who received treatment or were in follow-up between October and December 2020 at 12 gynecological departments in Germany. The questionnaire included three sections in which social background, current disease status, and patient perception of the COVID-19 implications on cancer care and social life were evaluated.
Results 778 patients completed the survey. The median age of the participants was 59. The majority had ovarian cancer and 70% were under current cancer treatment. More than half of them had already been vaccinated (56.7%) and 85.9% of the participants were willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Anxiety and fear was experienced by more than 50% during the last 2 weeks. Only 8.6% were more afraid of a COVID-19 infection than their cancer disease. Despite the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, most patients (68.9%) feared their tumour disease more than a COVID-19 infection, and 33.6% feared cancer progression due therapy delay. The treatment appointments were altered in a small number of patients (9.0%). The acceptance of social measures was high: 74.8% keeping social distance and 92.2% wearing a mask.
Conclusion Despite major challenges in cancer care due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the access to cancer treatment and adequate management could be preserved. The increased psychological burden in crisis situations require substantial new infrastructure and should be proactively addressed.
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